Is this where the young people are getting it from. They see all this happening, the 'older, wiser' people they are supposed to respect and learn from and are just copying them as best they can. They gang together to riot. In daylight they gang together to clean it up. It's all follow my leader. Someone in their peer group makes a suggestion on how they should act and they're off. You can't really blame them.
Indeed. Stealing flat-screen TVs by fiddling your expenses (a la Sir Gerald Kaufman) or stealing them direct from Curry's - it's a nice moral distinction. (The major difference being that Sir GK could have afforded to buy his own.)
I'm sensing a groundswell...
Something is happening- I don't know quite what it is- but I think change is in the air.
Bingo. My attitude to this - after the initial shock over the awful things the rioters did - is coalescing into anger, not with the rioters as much as the people handing out the pat condemnations of what the rioters did, while creaming off all the rest of us.
BTW I've just read the two articles you linked to in your post. Great stuff. I never thought I'd find myself cheering for Peter Oborne.
I know, right? Surprise surprise ... but now the dust is settling over our shock earlier in the week, I think there is a great deal of intelligent commentary emerging, and the best of it is aimed not at explaining the behaviour of children (who have been trained, from birth, to want the things they took), but at questioning the behaviour of the adults who trained them.
There's a flag, lying on the ground, waiting for someone to pick it up and run with it.
It's a quaint notion, and one that gets little attention these days, but government governs by consent of the governed. The same goes for the government's strong arm, the police.
The financial straights in which we find ourselves are mere symptoms of a moral bankruptcy at the heart of our civilization. Is Murdoch just a symptom as well? If we imagine a world without his corrosive influence, would we have still arrived where we are today? Sometimes, I honestly wonder.
Government is very much a bluff- and it can be called- as we've seen recently in Egypt- and elsewhere across the Middle East.
I'm beginning to think we live in revolutionary times.
Murdoch, cause or symptom? I really don't know. A bit of both I suppose.
I think we may indeed be living in a time of revolution.
Ray says he agrees with you 100% - will you marry him?
Like a shot.
Except- oh bother- I find I'm already spoken for....
"Show some respect? I will, once you've earned it Sir!"
Then what are you arguing for, anarchy? Tear all this stuff down, and all you'll have will be rioting kids and adults, demanding things its impossible for everyone to have. Will that be a day to rejoice?
No doubt there has to be change, but tearing the system down and starting over is hardly a solution. We'd end up with something idealistic like communism that just doesn't work, because it doesn't tap into the strongest natural drives to acquire.
And as to whether the kids are copying the politicians- I seriously doubt that. Did any of the looters say it? No. They don't care. They are simply bored and as Ailz said, easily led to illegal diversion.
What the uk needs is more, smarter, authority, not less.
Not anarchy, morality. (Once a vicar always a vicar).
People at the top should be held to the same standards as people at the bottom. In the kind of society I envisage it would be considered shameful to avoid your taxes.
Our authority figures are compromised. How can a politician who fiddled his expenses pontificate about looters?
"Compromised": yes, that's it, exactly. Too many of our political leaders lack moral authority and intellectual integrity. Whatever they say is made suspect simply by the fact that they said it. Whatever they do is the result of some -- usually hidden -- agenda benefiting themselves and their class, else they would not be doing it. We live in a time in which to believe otherwise is naive and frankly dangerous. And to imagine that all of these people are intelligent, well-informed and know what they are doing, is equally naive and dangerous.
What's true of our political leaders seems broadly true of the police, the business world and the media, as well.